Sunday, June 21, 2009

Along for the ride

I met Carmen fresh out of highschool. She was young ambitious and full of spark. She had come to lifeteams (www.lifeteams.ca) because some friends of her had gone through the program and come back changed. Deeper in faith and character. She wanted that. She had be placed under my supervision in the youth work that I was trying get started in Langley. I remember all of us were stretched in our understanding of youth culture as we were overwhelmed by elementary school students in our mobile drop-in center. Fifth graders dealing with homosexuality, drugs like pot and "E", and families that were beyond broken. Our team bonded as we tried to figure out how God fit in to these kids lives. The things we learned growing up in church were clearly not enough. So we just determined to serve them and be there for them. It was during this time that we integrated older students as leaders and Carmen and Hannah lead that them. I didn't realize what would happen. After all I just assumed it would be a rather normal student leadership team, but Carmen and Hannah made a "band of brothers". Using our work of quiet service to the elementary kids as a launch point Carmen developed a discipleship community and taught these students how they were the very hands and feet of Jesus. However not all of these kids even knew who Jesus was at this point. At the end of that year those kids wrote a song about how Carmen and Hannah had been instrumental in "saving their lives". It was amazing.

We started talking about hiring Carmen, but at only 19 would she want to settle into a career of youth work? After all she is only a youth herself. Quite literally as our organization's official age range is 10 to 24. She took off for europe and figured God would give her the answer. And on tue middle of the night as she was sleeping on a train he did and he definitely said Langley.

Now they day she officially started I had gotten a call from a kid who was at a party and was having a life crisis. A girl who at 14 was sick of the life of drugs and meaningless sex. She wanted it all to stop and wanted my help. I called Carmen who came out with me in the middle of the night. We found the house where we thought this girl was and we just decided to go around the block and pray. We figured if God wanted us to find her he would let us see her. No sooner did the prayer leave our lips and my phone rang. This started our night and we saw this girl give her life to Jesus then go back to the party to tell her friends.

Needless to say Carmen and I are close. We have sat and watched several kids meet Jesus for the first time. We have drank lot of coffee together in our starbucks "office". And this weekend I had a chance to lead her in her wedding vows to God to her new husband and I signed the papers that made her a married woman. What an honor. I never would have thought that I would one day be leading the wedding of this girl I met in starbucks. Its crazy how a few years ago we were complete strangers and now we are close friends. I think that's what "church" is all about. Serving together, being there fir each other, surviving on prayer in the midst of impossible circumstances, sharing tears, laughter and special moments.

God bless Carmen and Corey. I know that God has amazing plans in store for you and selfishly I hope that is in Langley.

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

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